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From: Ann
Family Reunion

August 2000

Family Reunion

Left to right: Daisy, Bessie, Dakota, SADIE, and Gregg

Hi readers! Recently, my dog Sadie and I attended a family reunion. You're probably thinking that I brought Sadie along to visit with the Martins, right? Actually, it was I who accompanied Sadie to a mini-reunion of her littermates! But before I tell you about the puppy party, let me share with you how Sadie first came to live with me.

A little over two years ago, a woman who lives nearby was on vacation in Florida when she came upon a pregnant stray dog (later named Magnolia) on a highway median. Luckily for Magnolia, this person was a volunteer for AWAN (Animal Welfare Adoption Network), a non-profit organization that places stray or abandoned animals in permanent, loving homes. She brought Magnolia back home with her, where my neighbors' daughter, Kathy (also associated with AWAN), offered to take her in.

Shortly thereafter, Magnolia gave birth to a litter of seven puppies, who soon needed to be placed into homes of their own. Magnolia and one of her puppies found a home nearby. Another puppy went to a new home on Long Island. I took Sadie, Kathy kept Bessie and Gregg, Kathy's parents (my across-the-street neighbors) took Daisy, and Kathy's sister took Dakota. Because everyone lives fairly close together, it was easy to get the family together for a fun visit, some doggie treats, and a photo session! Daisy was very social since she sees her littermates fairly often. Sadie, however, is not used to this much "family" all at once. But while she at first seemed a little overwhelmed with all the guests, she gradually became more relaxed and enjoyed herself.

Playing with Daisy one-on-one is Sadie's favorite thing to do. Most mornings I invite Daisy along on our two-mile walk. And if we don't see Daisy for the walk, you can be sure she'll come over and call for Sadie the first chance she gets! When Sadie isn't already outside, Daisy will whimper at the door until I hear her and let Sadie out in the yard to play. Sometimes they stay in their own yards and take turns barking back and forth at each other across the road. They make me laugh because they remind me of two little kids. For fun, I like to make up dialogue to go along with their barking:

Sadie: BARK! BARK! BARK! (Did you do the math homework?)
Daisy: BARK! YAP! (Sure, what do you need to know?)
Sadie: BARK! BARK! (What did you get for number seven?)

Sadie expends a lot of energy in the yard, but she is more than willing to take it easy in the house. Her favorite spot — I call it her Crow's Nest — is the back of the couch by the window that looks out over the driveway. She curls up like a cat and spends hours watching the outdoors. I always have plenty of notice when a visitor or delivery person is arriving!

It's been two years since Sadie has come to live with me, and I can hardly remember what it was like to hop into the car and run an errand without my trusty co-pilot at my side. It was certainly my good fortune that Magnolia met up with just the right person on that Florida highway, because Sadie and her littermates have brought so much joy to their new families. And I think that they are happy puppies, too. In fact, I swear I overheard the following conversation between Daisy and Sadie last week:

Sadie: BARK! BARK! (Life's pretty good here in the country, wouldn't you say, Daisy?)
Daisy: ARF! ARF! (You got that right, girl!)

Love, Ann